Southern Europe: Is That Still a Thing?

Southern Europe: Is That Still a Thing?

Grimy, overbearing vulgar street merchants scatter themselves amongst the throngs of people.  Filthy, sticky streets, with cigarette-butt filled corners.  These are some distinguishing  traits of Southern Europe. It is a sad reality that droves of Americans travel to Europe to spend their time and money in the south. In recent years, traveling to the south of Europe has become the trend in American vacation plans. Yet there is a new shift on the horizon. The eyes of the world are now being trained on the great Northern States of Europe:  Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and Ireland (defined by the “United Nations,” as if that’s a thing). Truth is, Northern Europe is the future of the continent and we as Americans would do best by starting to take a cultured interest in it.

The Land

Northern Europe, the land of the midnight sun, has some of the most beautiful countryside and nature that the world has to offer. From Norwegian Fjords to the hot springs of Iceland, there is always something breathtaking around you. There is a perfect mixture of nature and architecture in the Northern European countries. With countries such as Norway, with 35 people per square mile, to Finland, with 41 people per square mile, there are always places to find solitude and peace — to have space to think, without the distractions of civilization and its busyness.  The lands of Northern Europe are a pristine example of what nature can look like when it is conserved and protected by those who care about it.

Architecture

The cities of Northern Europe are reminiscent of fairytales. Castles from times long forgotten scatter the countryside as well preserved tributes of ancient sovereignties. From the stronghold of Kuressaare Castle of Saaremaa, Estonia, to Fredensbord Palace, north of Copenhagen, there are vast numbers of still standing castles and palaces throughout Northern Europe. One can stroll down the boulevards, where the once powerful Tsars of the Great Russian Empire walked. Throughout most of Scandinavia, one also can find beautiful ancient cobblestone streets with picturesque architecture rising on either side.  Clean aesthetic canals cross elegant cities such as St. Petersburg to Copenhagen, while in the south in such places as Venice and Annecy, these waters are filled with fecal matter of past years and waters in which fish, swimming in their own waste, spurn. To the eyes of any traveler, Northern Europe holds vast scenic and striking vistas.

 

Economically

Northern Europe may not be as cheap as some places in Southern Europe, what with their plethora of fake designer sunglasses and handbags etc., however it is worth the extra coin. On the whole, Northern European countries have the most stable economies. Countries such as Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark have had steady growth in their economies, while the many Southern European countries have recklessly endangered the Euro with their fiscal management styles. Recent tabloids report of economic issues throughout the Mediterranean coast, from Spain to Greece, where riots have brought great duress to the country. It is hard for tourists to enjoy site seeing when they are caught in the middle of a riot where the police are shooting teargas into the crowds to calm them over their country’s financial turmoil. Therefore, to maintain a fun environment of travel, Northern Europe has the best calm and peaceful atmosphere.

 

The People

Who wishes to be sneered at by a Parisian who wishes to have nothing to do with you?  Try to understand the thick accents of Spanish or Italian speakers as they try to converse in broken English. In Northern Europe, basically anyone under the age of 60 speaks fundamental English while most of those younger then 40 tend to be fluent. Most Northern Europeans have minimal accents in English and the main accent that American travelers would hear is a British influence in pronunciation and vocabulary.  Stockholm and Copenhagen have been said to be centers of beautiful people in Europe.  The story of a foreigner whisking away a woman from Northern Europe is reality. Such women of Tallinn to Oslo face this actuality, and many men in that country have to fend off wealthy invaders from other countries with whom they suddenly find themselves in stiff competition for their attractive and intelligent women. Some might also find Northern Europeans not as “friendly” as their brethren in the south, yet this is a false sentiment. Northern Europeans are not as overbearing, or prying, as Americans are accustomed to, and don’t put on a feigned smile. When you see a Northern European smile; it is for real, and not a ploy to gain favor that it might be in our culture. Therefore Northern Europeans are not only polite but also kinder than most cultures, for their kindness comes from a genuine feeling rather than social pressure. The people of Northern Europe are not only beautiful, and polite; they are extremely intelligent with most scoring high in their academic studies. The people of Northern Europe are some of the best of the world and are a pleasure to be around. They bring a great spirit to the beautiful surroundings of northern Europe.

 

Northern Europe is a beautiful region, full of kind people, and a clean and organized milieu. There are few that could regret a visit to such a country, and it is a place where many, after discovering it for the first time, visit more than once. To really make the best out of one’s summer, the smart traveler should seize the chance and visit the magical lands of Northern Europe.

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